By Sadiq Umar – Two businessmen allegedly being detained illegally by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been advised by an FCT High Court to file contempt proceedings against the chairman of the commission.
Justice Olasumbo Goodluck Tuesday advised counsels to Barrister Aziboala Roberts and Dakoru Atukpa, Managing Director and Executive Director and project director of Oneplus Holdings Ltd respectively, to bring the forms 48 and other “proper applications,” as “the court has a duty to take action.”
Roberts is cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Counsel to Robert, Chris Uche (SAN) and Gordy Uche (SAN) had informed the court that the EFCC had ‘flagrantly’ disobeyed two orders of the court granting bail to their clients.
He described the development as constituting ‘grave concern’ on the Administration of Criminal Justice in the country.
Roberts and Atukpa have been in EFCC detention since March 23 on allegations of conversion of public funds to the tune of $40 million from the office of the detained former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki. One Plus Holdings maintained that the money was paid for securing oil pipelines, and that the federal government was still owing it $4 million.
Justice Olasumbo Goodluck had on April 7 made an order granting bail to the suspects pending their formal arraignment by the EFCC. On April 12, the judge issued a production warrant for the commission to produce theapplicants in court. At yesterday’s hearing, neither Roberts nor Atukpuwere brought to court as ordered by the judge.
Counsel to EFCC F.A. Jirbo had in a counter affidavit, asked the court to set aside the orders, maintaining that the Commission had obtained remand warrant from a magistrate court to detain the applicants.
One Plus Holdings, a conflict resolution consultants, were awarded contracts for peace building in the Niger Delta to secure the NNPC LNG projects in Olokola and Brass.
The suspects claimed that their peace building initiative and settlements in the area demobilised many pipeline vandals and encouraged oil production for the country.
The judge adjourned the matter to April 26 for counsel to the respondents to respond to the counter-affidavit.